NICHOLASVILLE — The estate of an inmate who died last year in the Jessamine County jail has filed a wrongful death suit against the jailer, the detention center and Jessamine Fiscal Court.
The suit alleges that there was "willful disregard" to "provide appropriate supervision of, and a safe environment for" Corey McQueary, 33, who died of an overdose.
The suit was filed July 21 on behalf of Brittany McQueary, administrator of Corey McQueary's estate.
Jessamine County Judge-Executive David West had no comment Friday on the suit. Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl said the Kentucky Association of Counties, the insurer for the county, will assign an attorney to represent the county.
McQueary died of "acute methadone toxicity" according to a toxicology report from the state medical examiner's office.
Michael B. Jones, 55, of Lexington was indicted on a charge of second-degree manslaughter in the death of McQueary. His indictment said he introduced methadone in the jail and then "transferred a quantity" of the drug to other inmates.
An arrest citation filed with court papers said Jones "soaked a pair of underwear with methadone" and brought them into the Nicholasville jail. Jones then gave pieces of the underwear to his cellmates.
McQueary was found unresponsive at the jail at 1 a.m. Aug. 21, Kentucky State Police said at the time of Jones' arrest.
The case against Jones was dismissed in May, according to a court record, following his death in April. He died of end-stage liver disease, according to his court file. He was in the care of Bluegrass Hospice at the time.
The suit says the jail has policies and procedures that are to prevent illegal and potentially dangerous drugs from being brought into the inmate population.
The suit alleges that Jailer Jon Sallee and his deputies breached their duties by allowing Jones to bring in "potentially deadly controlled substances to those individuals incarcerated" in the detention center.
The suit also alleges that Sallee and his deputies failed to properly implement rules governing the care and supervision of inmates and failed to ensure rules were adhered to respecting the search and discovery of contraband.
The suit says that, given the criminal history of Jones, the jail staff "knew or should have known" that Jones would bring controlled substances into the jail.
The suit seeks compensatory damages for the wrongful death, "loss of enjoyment of life," and funeral and medical expenses. The suit also seeks a trial by jury.